Ready To Serve – Episode 192

Ready To Serve

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Featuring: Rev. Jeff Paparone

Published: November 30, 2019

Providing spiritual and emotional care to those suffering with cancer can be difficult. Rev. Jeff Paparone and Rev. Percy McCray candidly talked about the demands of ministering to sick people and their loved ones. They also provided listeners easy tips for keeping refreshed when caring for others long term.


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Show Notes:

Rev. Jeff Paparone started working as a chaplain at CTCA six years ago after six years in hospice ministry. The sacrifices of mental, emotional and physical energy have the potential to leave a chaplain empty. “You need to…fill yourself with God’s spirit…it’s very important…in order to give, you have to receive from the Lord.” He discusses with Rev. Percy McCray key practices and tips he thinks are important for those who provide on-going spiritual care to cancer patients.

First, he suggests taking vacation time. “I don’t know why people don’t use it,” he said. Secondly, he suggests welcoming accountability into your life—including your spouse and children, if you have them. Also, having someone to process with. “To be able to sit with him (another chaplain) and process the day, process an appointment, process a death, process a victory…and decompress that. ‘Cause I don’t want to take that stuff home.”

He includes two pieces of advice when ministering to patients. “Never go unpre-prayered. If we are prayed-up, it makes so much difference.” He adds the value of the ministry of presence. “More than anything that I’ve probably ever said. Be quiet and just be present. “Sometimes just showing up is all the ministry the people need.”


  • “The real sacrifice and commitment that anyone can make in ministering or supporting the sick and suffering is just be willing to be there.”
  • “If we’re prayed up…if I can get my humanity out of the way and get the Lord kind of in the way…it makes so much difference.”
  • “You cannot draw from an empty well. And, ultimately…one can get to a place of burnout…we have to know what our triggers are.”

Learn More:

Learn Your Limits to Avoid Burn Out